Mitch and Kelley Cook have created something special here at the Dakota Cafe. The husband and wife team started this business in order to spend more time with each other and it shows; their smooth synergy is felt by customers and employees alike.
Kelley's passion for cooking and innovation in the kitchen has been a life long love affair.
For several years she taught as a Culinary Arts instructor at a vocational school in Seattle that focused on teens that struggled in classrooms of traditional high schools. The experience was tough but rewarding. "Our school had a functioning restaurant that was open to the public where the local community would come in for meals. Our students developed the menus, cooked and served the meals. The students who were successful in my program could go on to further their education at a Culinary school or get a job in the industry."
Mitch earned an Economics degree from Central Washington University. He worked as a materials manager for a big electronics company in Seattle. His strong business background has helped the restaurant thrive.
Before moving to Ellensburg, Mitch and Kelley ran a catering business. When the opportunity to buy a bakery in downtown came up, they jumped a the chance and in 1997, purchased the beloved Sweet Memories Bakery. "We really got to know the community and what people wanted and didn't want."